Sunday, May 29, 2005

Lo siento, ┬┐Que?

Every so often, the Pune Times feels the urge to report trends that they see in Pune. Sometimes they get such feelings when no trends exist. What, then, do they do? Write a report on Spanglish catching on among young Puneites.

Spanish is rapidly becoming en vogue all over the world. (...) Influx off Spanish words began from the US and has made its way to India and Pune too. (...) It is an upcoming language and has already become the third official language for many countries which makes it the next important language to learn.

It is interesting to see the things people have said in this article. One young lady says that Spanish is becoming vogue all over the world, and that she needs to learn it. Yes, she would, considering she's a friggin airhostess! Another says that speaking Spanish is now a fashion statement. Yeah. Sure.

Also interesting are the Spanish words they say are taking over the English language. the Pune Times thinks that the appearance of words like macho, patio, jalapeno, rodeo, taco and suave are evidence of the Hispanisation of Punekars. And I thought these were English words now. Adding insult to injury is that many of the Spanish words in the article are misspelled or grammatically incorrect. So, muchachos, I shall help you out. Its not "Muchos Gratias", its "Muchas Gracias". And its not "No Problema", its "No Problemo". Get it right.

So basically, nothing in the article supports the implied conclusion: that Spanish is now a popular language in Pune. It is not. Nor does the article support the conclusion that more Spanish words are spoken by Puneites in their everyday speech. This, too is untrue. What could be said is that US english is slowly absorbing Spanish words, and this is reflected in the English Punekars speak. As American words. That's all.

Perhaps the next time they could write about how Chinese is becoming the new French. Don't we all use words like chop-suey and chow mien?

You there, write something about blogging!

Thats probably what the editor of the Pune Times said to one of his reporters. And the result was this. An article on how blogs affect buying behaviour.

How is that? Well, a number of bloggers are keying in their personal experiences with the products used. Sometimes its good and sometimes bad. "Because its absolutely frank and non-biased, I pay attention what is written on blog-sites (sic)", says.....

The article then goes on to suggest that many people make consumption choices based on the experiences of others they read on blogs.

Here's my take on things. People who post their experiences on products on the net are not particularly popular bloggers. Therefore it follows that most of the people who read such blogs are those who know the bloggers in real life. So here's the thing. If your friend has a bad/good experience with a product and blogs about it, chances are that he/she's told you about it already. So why credit blogs with changing consumer behaviour? The article seems like a contrived effort to write something about blogging, the new "in" thing over at the Mainstream Media.

My advice to the Pune Times: Seriously guys, stick to the parties. Leave the serious reporting to the proffessionals.